SuperSport extend their lead
Posted: 21 February 2009 Time: 19:57
Ajax Cape Town’s slide down the table continued at the Super Stadium on Saturday evening as they went down 2-0 to SuperSport United – and not putting up much of a fight in the process.
Early play saw Matsatsantsa the more attack-minded side, although there was little notable action in the opening 15 minutes as the two sides looked cagey trying to jostle for superiority.
For their part, Ajax were rather flat in attack, missing winger Sameehg Doutie, a surprise omission from the team, down the right flank.
As a result their best attacks came down the opposite wing, where Franklin Cale was looking good and whipping in some telling crosses.
One such delivery in the 12th minute picked out Mabuthi Khenyeza, who was caught in two minds whether to shoot or set up Sifiso Vilakazi. In the end his tame effort posed no threat.
It was at the Ajax goal where there was more goal-mouth action as SuperSport strike-partners Glen Salmon and Lerato Chabangu combined well, ably assisted by leftwing Daine Klate.
In the 25th minute a neat one-two between Chabangu and Klate carved open a good chance for the latter, but he dragged his 20-yard shot well wide of goal.
A minute later a mistake from defender Clayton Daniels enabled Chabangu to tee Salmon up from a central position just inside the box, but Ajax keeper Andre Petim did well to make a block.
In control of the game, the hosts continued to attack and Chabangu soon skipped through the Cape Town outfit’s defence, but his shot was a carbon copy of Klate’s effort two minutes earlier.
SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt elected to play midfielder Lance Davids, despite the current dispute the Pretoria club are having with the Bafana Bafana player.
But while Davids was relatively quiet in the opening stages of the game, it was his well cushioned lay-off to Klate that led to the opening goal. Klate burst into the box from the left and fired a shot towards the far-post.
In attempting to deflect the danger wide of goal, Brett Evans succeeded only in ensuring that the ball took a slight variation off its path before nestling in the net, giving Petim no chance.
The visitors looked toothless in attack, although they nearly got a look-in in the 31st minute when United keeper Denis Onyango, who had a few shaky moments in the first half, was beaten to the ball by Khenyeza. Fortunately for the Ugandan his defenders were well positioned to clear the danger.
SuperSport started the second half brightly, with Davids firing over in the 47th minute before Petim did well to keep out Salmon’s glancing header.
Ajax, however, began to show signs that they were not dead and buried and in the 67th minute Brazilian defender Eduardo Ferreira, finding himself in an advanced position, showed all the qualities of a striker as he rolled his marker before unleashing a shot which Onyango did well to save.
The big talking point of the game came in the 61st minute when the PSL champions seemed to have doubled their lead when Elias Pelembe crashed a shot goalwards, striking the underside of the bar – it was difficult to see if indeed the ball had crossed the line, but Pelembe certainly thought so, until his celebrations were brought to a premature halt.
Klate had a storming game for United, constantly probing down the left wing and in the 83rd minute he combined nicely with Fikru Tefera, who was unable to apply the finishing touch as he shot wide. A minute later Tefera was again guilty of poor finishing when he failed to find the back of the net with only Petim to beat.
Ajax had a late penalty appeal turned away when Thulani Serero went down in the box, but it would have been unfair on United to not bag all three points in a game in which they created countless clear-cut chances.
They were finally able to wrap things up, two minutes into injury time, when Anthony Laffor played in the perfect cross, giving Tefera the easy task of slotting home from five yards out.